In the two months since Michael Cohen walked into court and pleaded guilty to eight felonies, while naming Donald Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator, we’ve seen Cohen bend over backward to try to atone for things. He’s reportedly spent fifty hours with prosecutors, giving up everyone he’s ever conspired with, including Trump. But there’s still a day of reckoning coming for Cohen, and now it appears there may be two of them.
Michael Cohen is currently set to be sentenced on December 12th. Because he’s been cooperating so thoroughly, he can probably expect a dramatically reduced sentence in comparison to the sentencing guidelines. And because he could still be cooperating by his sentencing date, we could possibly see prosecutors ask that it be delayed. But let’s say that it does happen on the 12th as scheduled. That sets up a fascinating scenario for the next day.
Although it’s largely fallen off the public radar since Michael Cohen pleaded guilty, Stormy Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti still have a lawsuit going against Cohen in civil court. The goal of this lawsuit appears to be to force Donald Trump’s corruption into the public view, as opposed to trying to win any sort of financial judgment. So it’s not a coincidence that Avenatti has set December 13th for Cohen’s deposition. It’s the first day that Cohen could conceivably shift his focus from his criminal liability to his civil liability.
There are still a lot of unknowns here. Michael Cohen has bent over backward to try to make things right when it’s come to working with prosecutors, and even making amends with certain Resistance leaders on social media. It’s not yet clear if Cohen will be willing to help out Avenatti and Daniels by giving them the kind of testimony they want. Nor is it clear how quickly Cohen’s testimony could become public, depending on how Avenatti decides to play it. But as the Trump-Cohen saga goes, it’s time to put December 12th and 13th on your calendar.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report